Sexolve 223: ‘My Girlfriend Gets Violent During Sex’
“There is a thin line that divides fantasy and abuse, that line is called consent,” writes Harish Iyer.
(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)
Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, and need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to email@example.com.
This week’s Q&As are below:
‘My Girlfriend Gets Violent During Sex’
I am a 26-year-old man and my girlfriend is two years older than me. I am telling you something which possibly no man will ever dare to tell. My girlfriend is very possessive of me. Now that is not something negative, that is what I thought in the beginning. However, as time passed, she started behaving very rude with me. Everytime I went out with my friends, she thought I was having sex with them. In my younger years, I was in a hostel, I had made out with a guy. It was consensual, but also exploratory. We both weren’t really gay. We just liked giving each other blow jobs and hand jobs. It was more of an experiment. I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t feel the need to do it again ever. When my girlfriend got to know about this, she started assuming that I am making out with my male friends as well. Last night, I stayed at my male colleague's place and today he has received a message saying “I know you are gay” from my girlfriend. They both were former colleagues. In addition, when we have sex, she removes all the frustration by role-playing with me. She strips me, ties me up to the edge of the bed and whacks me mercilessly with any object that she could lay her hands on. In the beginning, I thought she was a dominatrix and I liked it for the thrill of it, but later understood that all of this was her means of taking revenge on me for crimes I didn’t even commit. She also bites my penis at times and I have painful bite marks on my groin and other parts of my body. She is a woman, so she can do this. But I feel terribly ashamed about this all the time and want to be in a better position in life myself. My girlfriend loves me and I love her too. But I wonder what's happening or what I should do to solve this. I sometimes feel suicidal and at other times, stupid for feeling like that.
Man in Pain
Dear Man in Pain,
Thank you so much for writing in. What you are going through is very challenging and I am glad that you are able to verbalise it well. When we acknowledge the issue that we have and call it out for what it is, in our heads, we take the first step towards finding a resolution.
You confess that you love each other. But does love exist without respect?
If it is wrong for a man to beat a woman and to doubt her always, the vice versa is true too. Do not discount her for her rude behaviour just because of her gender.
There is a thin line that divides fantasy and abuse, that line is called consent. Consent has to be continuous and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
I urge you to communicate clearly and strongly to your girlfriend that you do not appreciate her doubting you all the time and you definitely do not consent to getting beaten up during your sexual encounters. Relationships have the chance of getting better when there is an open and frank conversation.
Do not accept abuse as love. Love is love, abuse is not love. The cycle of abuse has to stop. And you have the courage to stop this by having a clear communication with her.
This could have a deep long term impact on your own understanding of concepts of love, affection and abuse. I urge you to visit a mental health professional who could help you in the process of healing.
Things get better when we stop brushing them under the carpet and do not procrastinate for eternity.
P.S. Standing up for oneself, sometimes, is the most challenging. But it is also the most rewarding.
‘My Father Sexually Abused Me’
My father is a 70-year-old alcoholic. He beats up my mother everyday. He tells her all sorts of horrible things. A year back, he slept on my bed instead of my mother’s and he shoved his penis inside me. I was terrified and scared. In the morning when I told my mother, she laughed it out saying “Dad cannot do it with a boy. He is not gay”. I wonder why she found it funny. I don’t know if she even knows the problem that it is causing to my mental health. I feel horrible all the time about my body. I feel terrible that my mother doesn’t understand me or support me. I feel like running away from my house. Is this so unbelievable? I feel cheated by mom. I hate her. I am 23 but am still financially dependent on my father as I am studying. What should I do?
Dear Troubled Boy,
I hear you. I understand you. I believe you.
I thank you for trusting me with your story. As a survivor of sexual abuse, myself, I can tell you that such memories may resurface at some points of life, and I can tell you that while one cannot stop the rush of thoughts that come in, how one deals with it can completely be under the control of the survivor. I have taken help from psychologists, and have been able to lead a mentally healthy life with a few challenges.
Someone who sexually assaults is an assaulter. Let’s call them for who they are. One should not assign labels of sexuality to them.
I understand you being upset with your mother. However, there is another point of view that I wish to share with you. Women who face abuse sometimes make light of the situation they are in. They sometimes falsely equate it to their fate and destiny… prolonged years of abuse do that to us – we end up believing only what we want to believe. Your mother needs counselling too. She is a victim of patriarchy just as you are. I know it is difficult to empathise sometimes. I completely do.
I would suggest that you seek counselling. Therapy is not a one-time quick fix band-aid. It is a long process. I wish that you take it up with patience and care for yourself.
It would be nice if you start living independently eventually.
P.S. Please visit a counsellor
‘I Have Too Much Hair on My Underarms’
I have too much hair on my underarms, should I shave or use hair removal creams?
Dear Hairy Girl,
You could do either actually. When you shave, the next day you get pricky picky skin feels.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals)
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